San Benito County School Board President Joan Campbell-Garcia

Retired educator and current San Benito County Office of Education governing board vice president, Joan Campbell-Garcia, has been elected new board president. The move comes after former board president, Mitchell Dabo, did not seek to be reelected by his fellow trustees. Dabo’s second one year term as president was up and he was absent from last week’s vote.

Campbell-Garcia taught at San Andreas Continuation High School and has a strong interest in vocational education.

“I loved working with alternative education students,” said Campbell-Garcia on Monday.

The school board position opened up when she thought about retiring from teaching in 2000 and she has been on the board eversince.

The school board is made up of five representatives, one from each of the supervisor districts. Campbell-Garcia is the representative for District 3. All representatives as well as the County Superintendent of Schools, currently Krystal Lomanto, are voter-elected positions.

The governing board is the policy-making body of the county office of education, which oversees alternative and special education and provides support to the county’s 11 different school districts.

Campbell-Garcia, whose term is up in 2018, said it has been an honor to serve so long on the school board.

“We’ve always had great respect for each other, staff members and teachers,” she said. “We are always focusing on vision, goals and what we are trying to achieve at the county office of education.”

When asked if the court judgement against fellow board member Mitchell Dabo and the resulting publicity has been an issue, Campbell-Garcia said, only so far as the board has had to keep repeating that they have no jurisdiction over what Mr. Dabo does.

“Some people seem to think the superintendent can fire him or we can fire him, that is ridiculous. That’s not just the way it works,” she said.

To the best of her knowledge, Campbell-Garcia said Dabo had not resigned from the board.

“We focus on the business at hand,” she said.

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